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Woman sentenced for robbing bank for drug money

A Medford bank robber seeking cash to buy heroin got $256 and three years in federal prison.

Amy Joy Cook, 41, was sentenced Monday to 36 months in prison for robbing a Medford Bank of America in June 2013.

In addition to giving her prison time, Judge Owen Panner sentenced Cook to three years of post-prison supervision and ordered her to pay $256 in restitution. 

Federal prosecutors say Cook walked into the Bank of America at 790 Stevens St. on June 5, 2013, and slipped a teller a threatening note in which she claimed to be armed, though no weapon was seen. The teller handed over $256, and Cook fled. No one was injured.

Defense attorney Brian Butler told the court Cook robbed the bank for money to buy heroin.

Police issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Cook, who was on parole for robbing a Talent convenience store in 2010.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department in Arizona arrested Cook in Sahuarita — about 50 miles south of Tucson — on vehicle theft charges four and a half months later in October. She admitted her involvement in the Medford bank robbery while being interviewed by law enforcement there, Butler said.

Court records show Cook was indicted on a federal bank robbery charge in February 2014 and pleaded guilty to the charge in September. Butler said Cook has undergone drug treatment while in custody at the Jackson County Jail.

"She's really become a leader in that program," Butler said.

Cook addressed the court at sentencing, saying she would like to continue receiving treatment after her release from prison. She also expressed desire to go back to school and become a drug and alcohol treatment counselor.

"I apologize for my actions. My hope is I get adequate treatment," Cook said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.